January 3rd Return to School Notice

Hope School and SLHS communities, 

Schools are making difficult decisions about returning in person or remotely as a result of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron. For the benefit of students’ learning and mental health, we are determined to keep our schools open for in-person learning. To do this successfully, we will need everyone’s help both now and in the coming weeks as we navigate a more contagious variant. While Omicron’s symptoms seem less serious, if we have multiple students getting COVID-19 in a classroom or we have multiple teachers out due to COVID-19, with guidance from the Department of Health we will need to make decisions about a change to virtual learning if necessary.  While we are hoping to remain open, we want our families to be prepared for potential remote learning if needed. 

In the meantime, we strongly encourage all our families to:

  • Get vaccinated. Vaccinations are now available for individuals ages 5+.
  • Get a booster shot. Boosters are now available for individuals ages 16+.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Continue to wear masks and social distance.
  • Wash your hands frequently and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly.

As we prepare to resume in-person school next Monday, we ask your help in following these guidelines:

  • Wear 3-ply cloth or disposable masks properly; gaiters are not acceptable. 
  • If you or your family members have any COVID-19 symptoms, please remain home and get tested right away; let the school office know about any positive results. 
  • Students testing positive must quarantine for 10 days from onset of symptoms.

We encourage all students to be tested for COVID-19 prior to a return to school. If possible, take a PCR test on Thursday or Friday December 30-31  or purchase rapid tests to test on Sunday January 2.  We have a limited number of rapid tests at school and I will be available at Hope this coming Sunday, January 2 from 2-3 PM to hand out rapid tests for you to test your child at home. If you would like to pickup a test then, please send me an email prior at kokabayashi@hopeseattle.org. Due to a new requirement to test all basketball players and coaches 3 times per week when we return from break, free rapid tests will be limited until we get a new shipment in next week. Families with athletes – we will share more information on testing later this week. 

We hope you continue to enjoy a snowy Christmas break that is restful and rejuvenating. Thank you for all that you do to keep your family and others healthy! 

Seattle Lutheran families can email us at:

Kristen Okabayashi  kokabayashi@seattlelutheran.org

Assistant Principal Andie Merlino amerlino@seattlelutheran.org

Office Jeanne Davis jdavis@seattlelutheran.org 

If you have any questions, Hope families can connect with us at:

Principal of Schools Kristen Okabayashi  kokabayashi@hopeseattle.org 

Hope Assistant Principal Jennifer Neafcy jneafcy@hopeseattle.org

Hope Office Managers Shari Wallace or Tammy Shelver office@hopeseattle.org


Happy New Year! Kristen Okabayashi, Principal of Schools